All about the Astea’s Internship Program

It’s official – for a 3rd year in a row, Astea Solutions organized summer internship program for developers, QAs and System administrators.
And here it is what we learned so far.

We sat together with Nikolay Manolov, Lead Software Engineer in Astea, who is leading the internship program since the first edition 3 years ago, and ask him to tell us more about the program and his experience mentoring the internship team.

What is the program format?

There is a structure that is quite flexible depending on what the participants already know.
The aim of the program is to bridge the gaps between the different skills they have gained in the university: programming, database modeling, networking, scripting, our tools etc. We go through the basics, and according to time dig deeper subjects that are interesting or where we’re missing something. Context matters. These skills need to be well connected and useful enough to make sense in one bigger thing – namely an MVP of an idea.

How long is the internship program?

It lasts about 3 months and consists of two parts. During the first month and a half, the goal is to go through several different technologies – ORM, API layer, SPA framework. There are, of course, plenty of different choices for any of these components, so I stress a lot on the similarities among them. I aim to enable my interns to see the patterns.
As a common ground, we start with Javascript – a programming language that is not taught at university. It is a small challenge for our interns but serves conveniently for my purposes for the internship – it works on both web and mobile, on the frontend, and on the backend.

The second part of the program is about creating something for real. Working on a real project towards an MVP, but in a kind of “perfect world”. In an environment where there are no risk and external stress factors (changing requirements, scope creep, communication with clients, etc.). This way we can increase the complexity and make sure we have covered the basics in way that at the end of the internship you will be a self-sufficient team member.

What are the advantages of creating an internship team?

For me, as a more senior member of the staff, the important gains are two: First, I feel certain that people gone through it have seen a lot and will be valuable colleagues going further. Second, interns become aware of their responsibilities. They improve their processes, the technology and the product we’re building. In six weeks they build up a team where everyone’s qualities work for the better of the whole.
For the interns, this is a quick lane to gain close-to-real-life experience.

What did the internship team create this year?

They chose to work on a competitive real-time trivia game that they created on their own from scratch. They were inspired by other games. It is available as a web-based (accessible here: https://quizapp.asteasolutions.net/) and mobile applications.
The code is open, so if anyone is interested, we welcome PRs 🙂
Probably the biggest challenge was handling the real-time communication between users (the app users instantly see that someone has done something, invited them to play, answered a question, etc.).